Ephrum E. Goldsmith, 82, chemist, stamp collector

December 27, 2005

Ephrum Edward Goldsmith, who amassed a rare collection of Cuban stamps, died Saturday at St. Joseph's/Candler Hospital in Savannah, Ga., after a two-year battle with leukemia. He was 82.

Mr. Goldsmith was born in Glen Burnie and graduated from Glen Burnie High School. Known to his friends and family as Edward, he enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Kansas, where he took college courses. He transferred to Penn State University and later to the University of Maryland, earning a degree in chemistry.

After working for the Baltimore Health Department and briefly for Maryland Match Co., he took a job with Baltimore Paint and Chemical Co. developing flame-retardant paints and coatings, said his son, Mitchell Goldsmith, 52, of Reisterstown.

In 1975, he moved south to take a position as chemical director with Ocean Chemicals Inc. He remained in Georgia after his retirement more than 20 years later, residing in Wilmington Island, Ga.

Mr. Goldsmith's passion, however, was stamp collecting. He specialized in early 19th-century Cuban stamps and postal markings. He won several medals and awards, including a gold medal at a London show, according to Dr. Steven J. Berlin, a family friend and fellow stamp collector.

The centerpiece of his collection was a number of rare Spanish stamps dating to 1866, which were auctioned off in 2000 after the death of his wife, the former Lois Zelda Abel. He was a member of the various philatelic clubs and also collected model trains.

"He was at his most happiest moments when he was talking about stamps and postal history, and going to stamp shows and being around stamp buddies," said his son.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. today at Sol Levinson & Bros. funeral home, 8900 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville.

In addition to his son, Mr. Goldsmith is survived by four nieces and two nephews. Another son died in 2002.

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